ATTENTION: The Boards will be closed permanently on May 28th, 2014. Posting will be disabled on April 28th, 2014. More Info

The Undiscovered Country

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 27 2009, 9:54 pm

...so I've finally watched TUC. Now I've kind of cheated because I still haven't seen TFF yet, but someone bought me TUC for Xmas so I hoped it wouldn't have been too essential to watch them in order.

My overriding impression is that it was an enjoyable film...but I have to say, considering all the flak that STXI has been getting for feeling like a Star Wars film (from me as much as from anyone), it's a comment that could also, IMO, apply equally to TUC, especially in the scenes on Rura Penthe.

But anyway, let's start from the beginning. So Sulu finally gets his Captaincy of the Excelsior, and...while no doubt he deserves the Captain's seat, he's not exactly the most engaging or dynamic of Starship Captains, and it's easy to see why he never got to carry a full feature in the big chair.
Good to see that Rand is still making an appearance in the films though, and she even gets a few lines of dialogue this time!

I loved the idea of the Klingon Empire being crippled, and having to come to the Federation for assistance. I'd always wondered how we got from the Klingons being mortal enemies of the Federation in TOS to members of it in TNG, so it was good to see the beginnings here.

Now here I wonder if I really should have seen TFF first, because when we first see Kirk and Spock, relations between them seemed a little bit frosty...did something happen in TFF to drive them apart? I had a strange feeling throughout this entire film, that they were more distant that they had been previously...that old spark just didn't seem to be there.

I liked the racism themes addressed in the briefing, McCoy's reaction to the Klingons being called 'alien trash of the galaxy' was great. Also interesting to see Kirk so emotionally compromised regarding the Klingons, in light of what they did to his son.

Valeris was an interesting character...but for me, she was no Saavik, and I had a harder time accepting her as a protege of Spock's than I did Saavik. I don't know if it's just because I now associate Kim Cattrall with Sex and the City, but she didn't seem to have the same dignity and gravitas that Kirstie Alley brought to a similar role.
However, both David Warner and Christopher Plummer were brilliant as the two key Klingons. Warner I've always felt is a superb character actor, and Plummer always makes a delicious bad guy...although having the main antagonist regularly quote classic literature (the great Bard this time) might just have been a shade too reminiscent of Khan.

I liked the dinner scene with the Klingons, the crew all getting tipsy on Romulan ale ;)
I could see just how much the peace treaty meant to Spock, especially as he seemed to be willing to bulldoze even Kirk to get it to happen.
Again, it was interesting to see the racism issue highlighted, although it felt just a little bit overkill having Kirk mention Hitler.

The attack on Kronos One was great, really gripping. It was interesting seeing the consequences of them losing gravity. Although, I'd never realised that Klingon blood is pink!
I really felt McCoy's panic at not being able to save Gorkon (although considering he was being played by Warner, I was completely shocked to see him die).
Taking over from her father, I thought that Azetbur was great. It's something I've always loved about the Klingons and the Romulans, that their women are always portrayed as brave and honourable as their men (which you can't always say the same for human women, especially in TOS).

The trial was interesting. It was good to see Michael Dorn...although I have to confess that I didn't catch his characters name...is he the same character that he plays in TNG/DS9? (And does this make him the actor who's been in the most different versions of Trek? )
I really felt for Kirk and McCoy in this scene, surrounded by all the Klingons, baying for their blood, and being set up completely by Chang. The moment when they play Kirk's personal log was genuinely chilling.

So then Kirk and McCoy get sent to Rura Penthe, and, while these scenes were enjoyable, this is where it stopped feeling like a Trek film a bit for me. Although it was good to see that Kirk can still fight, and also still get the girls (and McCoy's reaction was priceless: "What is it with you anyway?" :laugh: )

Kirk and McCoy finally escape and are tracked by the Enterprise thanks to the handily placed viridium patch. Although, I find it a bit hard to believe that the Klingons didn't spot this earlier? I could see it as plain as day in the trial scenes, because I kept wondering what it was.

I didn't really get the scene with the Klingon listening post. Firstly, all that technology and they wouldn't be able to get a visual on a ship? And secondly, I felt that this scene made the crew, and especially Uhura, seem a bit stupid. I mean, she's the Comms Officer and she doesn't know any Klingon at all? I guess this is at least one thing they improved in STXI.

It was a clever way to draw Valeris out, Kirk and Spock hiding in sickbay. I felt so sorry for Spock, his disappointment at finding his protege turning against him, and I could completely understand his anger that followed.

A touching scene with Kirk and Spock in Spock's quarters, with both of them admitting their prejudices and their failings

The final battle with Chang, and it was good to see Spock and McCoy working together, although this scene made me realise that their usual banter had been completely missing from this film.

Like I said above, Chang was just a bit too similar to Khan in this scene for me, it would have been nice to see Meyer try something different with his antagonist. But a good exit nonetheless.

Nice to see Kirk and Azetbur find some mutual respect in the end. And the final scenes on the bridge were lovely, although very sad in an 'end of an era' kind of way. I can't imagine how upsetting it must have been to see this film when it was released and know that it was the last TOS-era Trek adventure ever.
"Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning". Wonderful.

So, overall, I enjoyed the film a lot, but currently it would rank third after TWOK, and still my all time fave TMP.

Mirrorgirl

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 15692

Report this Dec. 27 2009, 10:28 pm

Great review Mrs S.

I still get choked up watching that final scene, so much history, so many memories, the perfect sign off scene.

The rest of the movie has strengths and weaknesses for me (like most ST movies), but it is still one of the best.

Now watch The Final Frontier :D

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 27 2009, 11:07 pm

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
I'm not sure how anyone can find a Star Wars likeness in TUC (nothing personal MrsS) maybe in TREK XI even there I don't see the star Wars connection but that's another conversation.

I'm really not sure what it is, but every time I see a large collection of different and exotic-looking aliens, it always makes me think of Mos Eisley.
I suppose I'm going on a visual theme rather than story-wise, but also the whole ice planet, the weird-looking critters and all the furs made me think of Hoth.

And also, I found the music very Star Wars-ish in this one.

Just my personal opinion though. And I'm not saying that it's necessarily a detrimental thing...just a surface observation.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
There was never any intention of giving sulu his own movie BTW.

Didn't George Takei want Sulu to lead something? Or have I just made that up? :laugh:

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
Agreed and this was intentional as to fill in some of the history with the Klingons we see in TNG.

Okay, so I might be being a bit thick here...but had TNG already started airing when TUC was made?

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
Well the thing you have to remember is that this command crew was all set to retire and take things nice and easy UNTIL Spock volunteered the enterprise for a mission that the command crew didn't want. Kirk felt that Spock's volunteering the Enterprise for a mission without consulting Kirk first was a violation of trust on a level between brothers.

Yes, very true. And I think it will take me some time (and repeated viewings of TUC...and possibly a viewing of TFF) to decide what I really think about Spock's approach to this.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
I think the role was written so that she seemed suspicious from the get go....

Hmm...but she was still a Vulcan. I didn't get that much 'Vulcan-ness' from her.

Again, I think I need another viewing to really appreciate (or not, as the case may be) her character.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
IMO General Chang is a superior villain to Khan(its a tough call), yet they are polar opposites in the fact that Chang is doing what he does in service of his country not revenge. I don't know why everyone tries to compare these two villains, just doesn't make sense to me.

Again, I think it's a surface observation...more about how they crafted his dialogue than anything else...I do agree that he had different motivations than Khan...and like all Klingons he still had that wonderful (if misguided) sense of honour running through him. ¿

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
Ironically it was all part of the set up of Kirk.

Okay, I feel a bit thick now, because I never made this connection. But yes, I can see it now.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
The passionate Vulcan! Imagine that! ¿;)

Indeed. And like I said above, it's going to take time for me to work out my feelings on this new, driven Spock.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
I think it was perfect because it showed more of the Depth of James T. Kirk albeit in a way no one expected...

Really? I guess in general, I always feel it's a bit of a lazy way to add a bit of 'depth' to any racism storyline...to throw in a reference to the holocaust.
(Just like how it's lazy for any terrorism storyline to now throw in a reference to 9/11)
That's probably just me though...

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
The characters name was Colonel Worf, Worf of TNG's grandfather.

Interesting.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
I'm still not 100% convinced the alien was a girl LOL

Nice! :laugh:

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
I think they were so tied up in getting revenge on Kirk that it really didn't matter to them what he was wearing.

Good point...and I guess it goes to show how anger and revenge can cloud sensibilities.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
This is a scene that can be explained simply enough because it was the last adventure of kirk and company. It was done more for the fans than anything else.

Really? But it made them seem stupid. It felt like a throwback to TVH where they all acted like clutzes (which obviously worked in that film...not as much here IMO)

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
Yea and it continued the theme of a lack of trust and betrail in the movie.

True.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
It wasn't upsetting so much as a very touching heartfelt good bye.

Ah..okay.
I guess I still haven't accepted that it's over yet :laugh:

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:40 am)
That suits you quite well.

:cool:

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 27 2009, 11:52 pm

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:36 am)
I think we have to remember that TREK has never really had that all colors of the spectrum assortment of aliens so it can seem out of place.

I think this is exactly it. I mean, they did have lots of exotic aliens in TOS, but apart from a handful of episodes (like Journey to Babel) they weren't usually all in the same place at the same time.
I don't know why that feels strange to me in Trek...but it's the reason I initially couldn't take to DS9 either.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:36 am)
Why? ?He is the same Spock as before, it's just that he is learning that his human half can benifit him in ways logic alone can not.

I guess you're right...he just seems to have less concern for the wishes of others or the impact of his actions on those around him.

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:36 am)
You have to remember the berlin wall had just came down 2 years before AND ?that in the early 90's racism wasn't covered in Politically correct BS to hide ones feelings as it is today.

Once again, you're right. I think I just have such a knee-jerk reaction these days to people bringing up the holocaust for dramatic effect.
I have no issue if it's relevant or important or handled with the sincerity it deserves BTW...

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:36 am)
Have no worries because in 4 or 5 years you will learn to accept the humor in both movies. It just takes time to get used to it is all.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I loved the humour in TVH, I thought it was great and worked really well.
Just not so much here...

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:36 am)
Well it's still very new to you. Even if they don't make more movies there are tons of great TOS books

Indeed. And I got my first Trek novel for Xmas. "Troublesome Minds" by Dave Galanter. I have no idea if it's meant to be a good one or not...I think my sis picked it for me because it has Spock on the cover ;)

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 9:43 am

Quote (ServalanFan @ Dec. 27 2009, 6:00 am)
I thought the Enterprise crew, Chekov especially were all a bit dumb in TUC. Still it was quite funny so I forgive them. At least Uhura, Chekov and Scotty got to say a bit more than usual so I'm happy.

I'm glad it's not just me that felt like the crew had been dumbed down. Like I said, that approach worked brilliantly in TVH with the whole 'fish out of water' thing...but in an ostensibly serious drama like I took TUC to be, it felt almost insulting having Uhura frantically flick through a book of Klingon dialect and then struggle to attempt a decent pronunciation.

If it really was meant to be a nod to the fans, then personally I'd like to have seen Uhura do something to make a real difference for once, to be able to show that intelligence that she obviously has (doesn't she say at the beginning of the film that she's lecturing at the Academy? )

Like I said, at least they get this right in STXI.

SpaceClown77

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 337

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 10:11 am

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Dec. 28 2009, 9:43 am)
If it really was meant to be a nod to the fans, then personally I'd like to have seen Uhura do something to make a real difference for once, to be able to show that intelligence that she obviously has (doesn't she say at the beginning of the film that she's lecturing at the Academy? )

Like I said, at least they get this right in STXI.

True. I also think that scene was dumb. It didn't work at all. Sometimes I just shake my head at some humor in Trek.

Uhura was always one of the weakest characters of TOS(Sulu coming in a close second)I'm sad they never gave her character some justice for the films. A failed opportunity to develop her character for the their last film.

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 10:54 am

Quote (starbase63 @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:04 pm)
As mentioned in other posts about ST:VI, Valeris was originally supposed to be Saavik, much of the writing of Valeris makes this pretty apparent. As the story goes, a combination of Kirstie Alley's inability/unwillingness to return to the part and/or Gene Roddenberry's objections to Saavik being a traitor (even though he didn't create the character) led to the part being reworked into Valeris.

:logical:

Well thank god for that. I don't think I could have handled seeing Saavik turn traitor either!

Vger23

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6799

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 10:59 am

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Dec. 28 2009, 10:54 am)
Quote (starbase63 @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:04 pm)
As mentioned in other posts about ST:VI, Valeris was originally supposed to be Saavik, much of the writing of Valeris makes this pretty apparent. As the story goes, a combination of Kirstie Alley's inability/unwillingness to return to the part and/or Gene Roddenberry's objections to Saavik being a traitor (even though he didn't create the character) led to the part being reworked into Valeris.

:logical:

Well thank god for that. I don't think I could have handled seeing Saavik turn traitor either!

I think it would have been a significantly good turn for Star Trek at that time...to turn a "regular" character into a villian! It was those kinds of risks and twists that Trek should have been taking through the Berman-era, rather than just "playing it safe" and having everything end up all tidy and neat for next week's episode.

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 11:06 am

Quote (Vger23 @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:59 pm)
I think it would have been a significantly good turn for Star Trek at that time...to turn a "regular" character into a villian! It was those kinds of risks and twists that Trek should have been taking through the Berman-era, rather than just "playing it safe" and having everything end up all tidy and neat for next week's episode.

I guess you could be right...had there been further films to follow that could have expanded on it...but as a TOS-era parting shot I personally would have felt it like a bit of a kick to the gut.

Or maybe I just like Saavik too much...

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 11:12 am

Quote (SpaceClown77 @ Dec. 27 2009, 4:11 pm)
Uhura was always one of the weakest characters of TOS(Sulu coming in a close second)I'm sad they never gave her character some justice for the films. A failed opportunity to develop her character for the their last film.

I've actually just been discussing this on the TOS board...at the beginning of the series, it did feel like they had greater plans for Uhura (her flirting with Spock in The Man Trap and Charlie X, her singing, or IMO her finest moment in Mirror, Mirror when she finally gets the chance to show her true strength and bravery) but as the series went along it almost feels like they gave up on her and just strapped her to the console!

As for the films...she's almost completely wasted, like they just don't know really what to do with her. Especially in TVH. When they all pair off to complete their respective missions, her going with Chekov feels like the most awkward and unnatural one.

Once again, this is something they have made an improvement on with STXI.



*gasp* MrsS making complimentary comments about STXI's Uhura?!

:laugh:

SpaceTherapist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6370

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 11:17 am

I can empathize with those who would not have wanted Saavik to have gone to the dark side (sorry, couldn't resist  :laugh: ) but from a film making and story telling point of view I have to say that would have been a very creative and dramatic aspect to the story which would have made a good movie that much better.

MrsStarbuck

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4329

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 11:29 am

Quote (SpaceTherapist @ Dec. 27 2009, 5:17 pm)
I can empathize with those who would not have wanted Saavik to have gone to the dark side (sorry, couldn't resist ¿:laugh: ) but from a film making and story telling point of view I have to say that would have been a very creative and dramatic aspect to the story which would have made a good movie that much better.

Again, I guess you're right...and to be fair, Valeris turning didn't have that great an impact on me, mainly because I already knew it was coming...lol...but even if I hadn't, I don't think they spend enough time on the character for the viewer to have an emotional investment in her, so it's no big deal that she's a traitor.
Also, like Bax said above, they kind of make her a bit suspicious right from the off.

Whereas in Voyager...


...spoilers for Voyager s1...




...when you find out that Seska is a traitor, that really hit me because I'd seen her in a few episodes already and I liked her as a character.


If they had have made Saavik the traitor though, I'd have wanted at least an extra 30 minutes added to the film dealing with the fallout of this, because it felt like they glossed over the Valeris issue quite quickly.

SpaceTherapist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6370

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 11:45 am

Quote (starbase63 @ Dec. 27 2009, 12:35 pm)
Quote (SpaceTherapist @ Dec. 28 2009, 11:17 am)
I can empathize with those who would not have wanted Saavik to have gone to the dark side (sorry, couldn't resist ?:laugh: ) but from a film making and story telling point of view I have to say that would have been a very creative and dramatic aspect to the story which would have made a good movie that much better.

It would also have made Spock's outrage at being betrayed that much more pointed.

Spock almost regarded Saavik as family.

:logical:

I agree and they did spend some intimate moments on the Genesis planet...I think they had a very strong bond.

rocketscientist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 10054

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 12:14 pm

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Dec. 28 2009, 9:43 am)
Quote (ServalanFan @ Dec. 27 2009, 6:00 am)
I thought the Enterprise crew, Chekov especially were all a bit dumb in TUC. Still it was quite funny so I forgive them. At least Uhura, Chekov and Scotty got to say a bit more than usual so I'm happy.

I'm glad it's not just me that felt like the crew had been dumbed down. Like I said, that approach worked brilliantly in TVH with the whole 'fish out of water' thing...but in an ostensibly serious drama like I took TUC to be, it felt almost insulting having Uhura frantically flick through a book of Klingon dialect and then struggle to attempt a decent pronunciation.

If it really was meant to be a nod to the fans, then personally I'd like to have seen Uhura do something to make a real difference for once, to be able to show that intelligence that she obviously has (doesn't she say at the beginning of the film that she's lecturing at the Academy? )

Like I said, at least they get this right in STXI.

Nichelle Nichols had the same objection to that scene that you have, MSB. ¿She thought Uhura should already know Klingon. ¿And I agree with that too. ¿I didn't like that scene either. ¿It was played for laughs at the expense of her character and I don't think that was a good call or particularly respectful to Nichols. ¿It is nice that they rectified that, probably without that scene in mind (although I could be wrong considering what a huge fan Bob Orci is) in ST XI.

And, yeah, Chekov does come across as kinda dumbed down in this film too. ¿I read online somewhere that Walter Koenig wasn't happy with the way Chekov was written in TUC either.

And one other part I always chuckle to see is Kirk ordering Scotty to check out the balcony when they get to Khitomer. ¿You send the overweight late 60s or early 70s guy running upstairs to take on a potential assassin?!?!? ¿I LOVE Scotty and I LOVE seeing him shoot the assassin, but that didn't make any sense to me. ¿I got the feeling that Meyer always liked Scotty's character and maybe it was just plain affection that made him give Doohan that beat! ¿I loved it, but, like I said, it didn't make much sense. ¿

I agree with you regarding Sulu btw. ¿I've never ever cared much for the character. ¿He's probably at the bottom of my list for the original characters (and near the bottom for ST characters in general). ¿He was fine in TUC, but I just cannot see him carrying a show as the captain, no matter how much he and his fans called for it. ¿

Oh, yeah, and I really liked Kim Catrall's Valeris.  I think I liked her more than Alley's Saavik.  Valeris came across better as a Vulcan and I thought she had a considerable amount of cool sex appeal too.

In general, though, I really loved TUC. ¿It's #3 on my list right behind TWOK and TVH. ¿I thought it was great film and a great way to end the adventures of the original ST characters.

rocketscientist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 10054

Report this Dec. 28 2009, 12:17 pm

Quote (SpaceTherapist @ Dec. 28 2009, 11:45 am)
Quote (starbase63 @ Dec. 27 2009, 12:35 pm)
Quote (SpaceTherapist @ Dec. 28 2009, 11:17 am)
I can empathize with those who would not have wanted Saavik to have gone to the dark side (sorry, couldn't resist ?:laugh: ) but from a film making and story telling point of view I have to say that would have been a very creative and dramatic aspect to the story which would have made a good movie that much better.

It would also have made Spock's outrage at being betrayed that much more pointed.

Spock almost regarded Saavik as family.

:logical:

I agree and they did spend some intimate moments on the Genesis planet...I think they had a very strong bond.

The implication in TSFS was that Spock and Saavik were intimate and that the reason why Saavik stayed on Vulcan was to give birth to Spock's child.

That was the original intention.  They never followed through on it after TVH, I think because Nimoy didn't like the idea or something.

Forum Permissions

You cannot post new topics in this forum

You cannot reply to topics in this forum

You cannot delete posts in this forum